Ozil urges fellow Gunner Saka to stay strong amid racial abuse

Thu 22 July 2021 | 6:24

Missing the decisive penalty in the Euro 2020 final against Italy at Wembley, the Arsenal winger faced racial abuse over social media along with his Three Lions teammates, Marcus Rashford and Jordan Sancho.

In an interview with 

Sky Sports

, the former 


 midfielder empathized with 

Saka over his penalty shoot-out heartbreak

 and offered his support to the 19-year-old.

"I felt very much for Bukayo,"

 said Ozil. 

"I know from my own experience how it feels to miss a penalty.

"In a final, as the last one, to take on the responsibility of an entire nation as a young player - respect. Not many players would dare to do that."


After serving Germany between 2009 and 2018, Mesut Ozil retired from international football citing racist abuse. The Fenerbahce midfielder tweeted at the time:

 "I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose.”


However, the 32-year-old insists the problem is not going anywhere.

"There will always be people who racially abuse and scapegoat people of different backgrounds and skin colour when they lose," 

he added.

Asked if he has any advice for the Saka, Sancho and Rashford, Ozil said: "Unfortunately there will always be a small part of our community that racially insults and threatens players.

"We should focus much more on the positive messages that keep players strong."

"Bukayo is a modest young player. I have gotten to know him as a very determined young man who works very hard for his dream and does everything he can to achieve it."

"Bukayo is blessed with a talent that not many have," said Ozil. "If he remains as humble and determined as he already is, I am a hundred per cent convinced that he has a great future ahead of him and can become a great player.

"He's really a great talent, and I'm sure that there are going to be many more big matches for the English national team for him in the future."


source: Sky Sports

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